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At a time when electricity supply companies are focusing on reducing energy losses, the Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (Gescom) has reported an increase in energy losses, throwing up a question on its performance.
According to data provided by Gescom Managing Director M. Mahadev at the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (KERC) public hearing here on Friday on Gescom’s petition seeking a tariff hike, the transmission & distribution (T&D) losses of Gescom in 2015-16 till December was at 19.05 per cent as against 18.93 per cent in 2014-15 and 17.77 per cent in 2013-14.
Power experts now feel that instead of a tariff hike, Gescom should reduce its energy losses.
KERC Chairman M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda pointed out that Gescom had spent huge amounts of money on streamlining the T&D system. “We expected the T&D loss to come down,” he said.
Mr. Mahadev attributed this to the alleged power theft by irrigation pump set owners. But Chairman of the Hyderabad Karnataka Environment Awareness and Protection Organisation, Deepak Gala, who is also a member of the advisory committee of the KERC, and Anuradha Singh, representing the Bangalore Chamber of Commerce and Industries, disputed the claim and said shifting the blame on alleged power theft by farmers was just a ruse to hide Gescom’s inefficiency.
Ms. Anuradha Singh said by reducing 1 per cent of T&D loss, Escoms save a whooping Rs.134 core a year. Ramulu Reddy, representing the HKCCI also oppoed the tariff hike.
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